Despite the IFP being one of the political parties that have called for the postponement of the local government elections due to the Covid-19 crisis, the party insists it is ready to contest the elections should they go ahead.
We look at five key points made recently by party president Velenkosini Hlabisa indicating their readiness for the elections scheduled for 27 October.
1. Postpone the elections until May 2022 due to Covid-19.
Speaking at a media briefing of the party earlier this month, Hlabisa called for the postponement of the elections, citing the surge in Covid-19 infections and the third wave being a risk to South African lives.
However, Hlabisa said that their call for the postponement of the elections did not mean they were not ready, as they were well prepared for the elections – as indicated by impressive showings at by-elections in the different parts of KwaZulu-Natal, including winning a ward from the ANC in uPhongolo in the northern part of the province.
2. Use your vote to remove a failing government
Hlabisa used his Youth Day address to urge members of the IFP Youth Brigade and South African youth to use a powerful weapon in their hands, the right to vote, to remove the government that does not serve their needs.
“This is the key responsibility for you, to come up with the strategies to mobilise the youth to be active participants in the mobilisation of every voter to register and go to the voting stations on the elections date and remove the government that has failed them,” Hlabisa urged the youth.
3. IFP has a well-orchestrated plan to regain lost ground in KZN
In recent weeks, Hlabisa has outlined some of his party’s ambitions ahead of the October 27 polls. He says that the party’s resurgence in recent years has been carefully planned with the view to regaining lost ground in KwaZulu-Natal.
He said that their resurgence at the 2016 local government elections was strategically planned after they won 13 municipalities before becoming the official opposition in KZN in 2019, another strategic move, with a bigger end goal in 2024.
4. Certain ANC wards and municipalities targeted ahead of the local government elections
Hlabisa said whether the elections go ahead on October 27 or early May 2022, they will win more municipalities from the ANC.
“We have identified them and our programmes on the ground are in good shape, we know we will win those municipalities. We will take wards from the ANC,” a buoyant Hlabisa has said.
5. IFP’s vision 2024 for KZN
After becoming the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal in 2019, the IFP’s big goal now is to regain the provincial power they lost to the ANC in 2004.
“In 2024, we are taking back KwaZulu-Natal,” Hlabisa told the media earlier this month. He said that the ambitious plan has been in place for “quite a long time”.
“In 2019 we looked at it as three elections in one, 2019, 2021 and 2024. Beyond 2024 we will be looking at elevating our support nationwide, because at the end of the day the ANC will never rule this country forever,” Hlabisa said.